OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — J.R. Smith scored 21 points, Carmelo Anthony added 19 points and nine rebounds and the New York Knicks moved within one game of the final playoff spot by beating the undermanned Golden State Warriors 89-84 on Sunday night.
The Knicks outscored Golden State 34-12 in the second quarter to go ahead 56-44 at the half, and then held off a furious rally by Stephen Curry and the Warriors in the closing minutes.
Curry scored 32 points, including a tying 3-pointer with 2:42 remaining. But he missed from long range in the final minute and also had a pass stolen by Raymond Felton on Golden State’s final possession.
New York (31-43) is a game behind fast-fading Atlanta, which has lost six straight, for the final playoff seed in the weak Eastern Conference.
With big men Andrew Bogut and David Lee sidelined with injuries, Curry tried to keep the Warriors close.
Curry connected on consecutive 3-pointers to slice New York’s lead to 74-72 early in the fourth quarter, riling up the announced sellout crowd of 19,596 for the finishing stretch.
After the Knicks went ahead 81-75, Curry & Co. roared back again. The All-Star point guard capped a 6-0 spurt with a corner 3-pointer, dancing in place after tying the score with 2:42 remaining.
Curry missed from long range his next time down, chasing down the rebound but then forcing an errant shot. Jermaine O’Neal fouled Amare Stoudemire, who made a pair of throws to put the Knicks in front.
New York forced Andre Iguodala into a miss before Anthony’s pull-up jumper. Klay Thompson came back with a 3-pointer to bring the Warriors within one.
Anthony hit two free throws to put the Knicks up 87-84 with 45.4 seconds left. Curry’s 3-point attempt over Anthony rimmed in-and-out, the Knicks grabbed the rebound but were called for a shot-clock violation.
Felton closed out fast on final possession against Curry, who double-clutched and tried to pass in the air – only to have Shannon Brown steal the ball to seal a big victory for the Knicks.
And another tough loss for Warriors coach Mark Jackson’s banged-up team during the season’s stretch run.
Thompson had 15 points and nine rebounds and Iguodala added 12 points and five rebounds for the Warriors (45-28), who entered Sunday in sixth place in the tight Western Conference race. Golden State was one game behind fifth-place Portland, but only two games ahead of ninth-place Dallas -and being out of the playoff picture entirely.
Bogut (bruised groin/pelvic) also is expected to miss Tuesday’s game at Dallas and Wednesday’s game at San Antonio – and possible more. The Warriors are hopeful Lee (strained right hamstring) could return sooner after missing his second consecutive game, though the injury has kept him from even practicing lately.
The game against New York still started Golden State’s way.
Thompson and Curry each made two 3-pointers to help the Warriors go ahead by 12 points in the opening minutes. But the Knicks outscored Golden State 34-12 in the second quarter, including a scintillating stretch with Anthony on the bench.
Smith made two 3-pointers, a jumper and a layup, and Tim Hardaway Jr. added five points during a 15-0 run that put New York up 56-44 at the half. It tied Golden State’s lowest-scoring quarter of the season.
Hardaway finished with 15 points and Stoudemire had 15 points and 13 rebounds for the Knicks, who are 2-2 on their five-game road trip, which ends Monday at Utah.
NOTES: The Warriors had won 18 of their previous 23 games against the Knicks, including 11 of 12 at Oracle Arena. … The teams split the season series 1-1. New York hasn’t won a season series over Golden State since 2000-01. … Warriors co-owner Joe Lacob sat in a courtside seat next to rapper and Oakland native MC Hammer, who was celebrating his 52nd birthday.
Antonio Gonzalez can be reached at: http://www.twitter.com/agonzalezAP